What do large commits tell us?: a taxonomical study of large commits

TitleWhat do large commits tell us?: a taxonomical study of large commits
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsHindle, A, German, DM, Holt, R
Secondary TitleProceedings of the 2008 international working conference on Mining software repositories
Date Published05/2008
Place PublishedNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-60558-024-1
Keywordsboost, bug fixing, egroupware, enlightenment, evolution, firebird, large commits, maintenance, mysql, postgresql, samba, software evolution, source control system, spring

Research in the mining of software repositories has frequently ignored commits that include a large number of files (we call these large commits). The main goal of this paper is to understand the rationale behind large commits, and if there is anything we can learn from them. To address this goal we performed a case study that included the manual classification of large commits of nine open source projects. The contributions include a taxonomy of large commits, which are grouped according to their intention. We contrast large commits against small commits and show that large commits are more perfective while small commits are more corrective. These large commits provide us with a window on the development practices of maintenance teams.

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